People who have not been to India will think of the country as a crowded place where everything seems to be out of order. However, the city of Srinagar or the “summer capital” of the Indian state Jammu and Kashmir will prove you wrong. For the nature lover’s and casual travelers, here are the top 5 things to do in Srinagar. [Check out our list of things to do in Amritsar, India]
Take a photo at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden
The largest tulip garden in Asia is the Indira Gandhi Memorial Tulip Garden. The 30-hectare garden, which is home to 48 species and 1.5 million plants, is named after Indira Gandhi, the first and only prime minister of India.
The rows of blue, red, pink, and yellow shine brightly against the green leaves when hit by the sun’s light. Almost all visitors have their photo taken here for a good reason. The garden seems like something you see from a fantasy book. As one of the top things to do in Srinagar, your photos in this garden is worth treasuring!
See the city from above by paragliding
Paragliding is not for everyone. Some people just cannot handle the thrill, but, those who can surely know how fulfilling the experience is.
Once you are in the sky, you can view the whole city of Srinagar, Harwan and Shalimar Mughal gardens, and the Dal Lake. Make sure you have an action camera with you. Having that view from that angle is not something you get every day.
The vibrant rooftops, the multicolored gardens, the vast green fields, and the old houses will all be in full view when you are up top.
Explore Dal lake via a Shikara ride
A Shikara is a wooden boat found only in the Dal lake and other lakes in Srinagar. The lake is the second largest lake in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
However, this is not an ordinary boat ride. The 7-kilometer lake is surrounded by gardens, mountain ranges, classic style hotels, and working fishermen. There are also floating gardens or “rad” in the lake. Currently, the lake is under restoration since many areas in the lake is already covered with algae.
Go trekking at Shankaracharya Hill
It may seem like a scene from a film depicting the Medieval Era, but there is the sacred Shankaracharya Temple or “Jyeshteswara” at the top of the hill.
Those who will be hiking in Shankaracharya Hill are considered lucky since the hill has been deforested in the past but got its foliage back through reforestation efforts. It is only about 300 steps to the summit. Once there, you get to see all of Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir. This top thing to do in Srinagar is worth spending with your loved ones!
Visit Jamia Masjid in Srinagar
Srinagar has a rich history and culture. The Jamia Masjid has seen most parts of the history of the state. The mosque has been a center for religious activities since the early years of the Sikh Era, and it is a center of a debate about the Kashmir Conflict since 1947.
The site is open to visitors but access is regulated to avoid overcrowding. You can see the interior design inspired by Indo-Saracenic architecture. This place is a good stop for those wanting to learn about Srinagar and India’s past and current politics. Sometimes, a vacation is more than just sightseeing.